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Guo Jin: painting as a spiritual asylum

 
Guo Jin: painting as a spiritual asylum
  Huang Du
 
Living in Chongqing, a city enveloped in mist and wet air, Guo Jin became fascinated with depiction of environment, nature and human being. His paintings are characterized by pure and poetic brushwork, tree trunks and branches being processed into a non-contextual scenario. Such a brand new image, created by time, space, children and birds, is exactly Guo Jin's aesthetics.
 
Unlike those "ideal" and "symbolic" socialized paintings, the work of Guo Jin focuses on psychological analysis. Guo combines different forms, colours, objects and compositions in attempt to re-weave a new subjective and individual world filled with metaphors, separate and intense information. Trenchant or obscure, Guo's paintings reflect the changes in the values of Chinese contemporary art--from critical grand narratives to the description of the microscopic world and self-psychological analysis.
 
Guo Jin's paintings reveal not only his Sichuan Province leanings of memory and poetic flavour, but also his endeavours to go across the boundary and graft contemporary art with traditional aesthetics in any possible way. Modern paintings are incapable of surviving without origin and they were born, interpreted and transformed from the traditional art. In Guo's work of "Mr. Crow," "Dawn" and "Gift on the Tree", the composition of the branches, children, crows or birds are deliberately expressed by means of "another way in painting trees" rather than shows integrity and perfect harmony. And deletion is likewise the style of Southern Song Dynasty painter Ma Yuan to make his artistic creation. With a bold choice of good cut, the composition of a corner of the water or a partial section of the mountain leaves a wide blankness on the picture to highlight the landscape and emphasize the impression of space and add poetry to the work. Guo Jin applies what he has learned and further develops the spirit of traditional painting. In some sense, he makes breakthroughs by returning to the tradition. By offering an unstable and incomplete image, Guo creates a sense of alienation, both visually and mentally. 
 
Evolved from his previous paintings, Guo Jin strengthens his personality by emphasizing integrity and artistic conception, namely the “rusty” space formed by children and trees, and the pristine texture, comprise his visual language. The rusty children in his previous works emphasized the antinomy between the new life and the rust concerned with the time. More naturally in the recent works, the “rust” is quite consonant with the connotation of painting; with the blue gray dawn or dark, the images look like the old photos implicit the years and childhood memories. Without any specific story line, he gives prominence to the relationship between children, birds and the tree, which might remember us the scene of a naughty boy going nesting on the tree. Guo depicts this real experience in a surreal way.
 
Evolved from his previous paintings, Guo Jin strengthens his personality by emphasizing integrity and artistic conception, namely the “rusty” space formed by children and trees, and the pristine texture, comprise his visual language. The rusty children in his previous works emphasized the antinomy between the new life and the rust concerned with the time. More naturally in the recent works, the “rust” is quite consonant with the connotation of painting; with the blue gray dawn or dark, the images look like the old photos implicit the years and childhood memories. Without any specific story line, he gives prominence to the relationship between children, birds and the tree, which might remember us the scene of a naughty boy going nesting on the tree. Guo depicts this real experience in a surreal way.
 
The essence of Guo’s fairyland is the core of his work, in which innocent children play the leading role. Refusing to be idealistic, however, he extracts the image of children and nature from personal narratives. In another word, narrative is substituted by abstract, and symbolism is replaced by metaphor. Being understood, decoded and imagined, Guo’s paintings reveal his romantic, poetic emotion, and his unique artistic language. Memories, trees and even birds, are taken as the spiritual asylum in his work, which implicate happiness, relaxation, and also attitude, expectation. This is a kind of super-realistic prospect, and also a metaphor with daily experiences. His paintings are not turgescent, homiletic illustrations, but a metaphor of simple mind and emotion. Concretely, his paintings offer more ways of meditation and reflection to the observer through the “intense” relationships between time, memory, human, nature and animals. 

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